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Apprenticeship Week 2022: Build the future

February 7, 2022

It’s National Apprenticeship Week (7 – 13 Feb) the 15th annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships and this year’s theme is Build the Future.

Whether you are a school leaver or a university graduate, just setting out on your career or looking to change direction, apprenticeships can provide opportunities for people across many roles and industries. But, they are also an opportunity for employers, offering multiple benefits to organisations who help people to learn skills whilst they work.

Across the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme we have apprentices in all kinds of jobs helping to build a Barnet fit for the future. Like apprentice Tom Bourke, a 29-year-old university student who is currently studying for a Level 6 BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying degree.

Tom has been seconded onto the Brent Cross West project since December 2019, via Currie and Brown Group, where he began working as procurement assistant. In that role Tom gained valuable experience when he was involved in appointing the contractor to design and build the new station.

Tom works on the project four days a week whilst one day a week he studies for his degree. He will be starting his final year of the course later this year when he will become a qualified Quantity Surveyor.

When we asked Tom why he chose to take up an apprenticeship he told us: “One of the key reasons I decided on an apprenticeship was the ability to earn a reasonable wage whilst gaining a degree. The degree is government funded which means I won’t be burdened with debt once I complete my apprenticeship.”

Having already done a previous apprenticeship Tom said: “I was already aware of the benefits and comfortable with the structured programme of learning and working.”

Studying for an apprenticeship has benefits for both the apprentice and the employer. For Tom, he told us: “It enables me to convert what I am learning at university into the workplace immediately, whilst its easy when studying full time to lose knowledge and skills when you haven’t used them in a while. It also helps me to pick up subjects quickly during my academic learning when I am doing similar activities during work.”

“Working for Barnet has been refreshing because I am working for a local authority, knowing that I am making a positive contribution to the borough.” He added.

Barnet Council employs 93 apprentices in its schools, social care services, gardening and grounds work teams, street cleaning and rubbish collection departments, and back office roles.

Cali Ibrahim, Barnet Council’s Senior Employment and Skills Officer, works with employers and apprentices across the area. He said: “Apprenticeships encourage organisations to keep industry knowledge up to date, including technical skills, making them competitive in the market. In a recent study, 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity and a further 74% said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service.”

Cali’s role reflects the council’s wider commitment to ensuring our communities benefit from major projects in the borough, including the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration project, which aims to have at least 20% of people working across the development employed from Barnet, or neighbouring boroughs Brent and Camden.

You can find out more about the opportunities available across the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme on our opportunities page.

To find out more about apprenticeships in Barnet contact boostbarnet.org/